Alfrancis Chua doesn't mind that everyone in the coaching staff had to shout at the top of his voice just to be heard. And he's certainly not complaining that his ears are ringing from all the cheers.
So long as the cheers are for his team, it's music to his ears.
“Dati pag kalaban ko [ang Ginebra], inis na inis ako eh. Sigawan ng sigawan yung mga fans. Kami (sa Sta. Lucia), hindi ganoon karami ang aming fans eh,” said the former Realtors coach.
After almost five years of absence in the coaching scene, Chua is back in the PBA sidelines and is happy to be at the receiving end of those loud cheers in his new role as a consultant for Barangay Ginebra.
“Ngayong nandito na ako, iba pala ang pakiramdam,” he gushed.
Since his departure from Sta. Lucia in 2007, the 45-year-old Chua remained involved in basketball, although in other capacities. He became a commissioner of the NCAA juniors’ division, the head of the UAAP technical committee two years ago, and the commissioner of the Metro Manila Tiong Lian Chinese League last year.
He was also busy managing his three businesses: an advertising agency (AJC Advertising), a perfume brand (Le Posh Blvd), and a clothing company (French Dolls).
“A lot of people were asking me kailan ako babalik [sa basketball]. Pero sabi ko hindi na,” Chua said.
That was until he received an offer from San Miguel Corp. management he simply could not refuse.
“Nung sinabing Ginebra, na-excite kagad ako. I guess anyone would be excited to work for Ginebra. Syempre, it’s the league’s most popular team. You’re not gonna go wrong,” Chua said.
“That’s the reason I ended up here, and so far, so good.”
Chua, now in his second conference with the squad, brings his vast experience to the never-say-die Kings. He led Tanduay to seven titles in the defunct Philippine Basketball League and a runner-up finish in the PBA when the Rhummasters entered the PBA in 1999.
With Sta. Lucia, he was an assistant to coach Norman Black when the Realtors won the 2001 Governors’ Cup title. He also led the squad to two semifinal appearances as head coach.
Now reunited with former Tanduay players Rudy Hatfield and Erik Menk, Chua believes the Kings have what it takes to go all the way.
Being a consultant with Ginebra is an exciting job for Chua, but does he have grander thoughts of becoming a head coach again?
Chua said he's not thinking that far ahead.
“I’m happy with my job right now," he said. "Makatulong lang ng konti, ma-motivate natin yung mga players, ayos na ako dun.”